They have how many what now?

Strides have been made on the Italian learning front.  Longer strides for James.  He did a week-long, three hours/day Italian survival class.  I would have too, but you know, kids.  I’m pretty impressed with him.  He was in the more advanced group and their teacher, a 4’10” fantastic dresser from Naples, does everything in Italian.  He’s been holding his own and then some.  Apparently after he was a little tired one day, his classmates told him to get his act together for the next day.  Because who else who hassle the teacher about all the grammar rules that don’t make sense?

On the home front, we had our first meeting with our Italian tutor this week.  The plan is for her to come once a week at 2000, then watch the already sleeping kids so we can date night.  I really want conversation practice.  I need someone to force me out from behind my books and duolingo lessons and make me say something–anything–in Italian.  Our first session was pretty light on this, but I have hope for the future.

And I definitely enjoyed the date night part of the evening.  James and I hopped in a cab and walked all around downtown.  And maybe ate a little gelato.  I was enjoying it too much to take pictures, but we went from the Pantheon, through Campo de’ Fiori, and over to the Campidoglio.  It was beautiful.  Hard to describe, but it really looked like a movie set.  Gleaming cobblestones, beautiful people bursting out of sidewalk cafes and restaurants.

Ooo . . . look . . . a blurry picture of me with a cat

Ooo . . . look . . . a blurry picture of me with a cat

But back to the Italian.  Our tutor emphasized that you must pause between double consonants.  This means “oggi” (today) is really og-gi.  She noted that lack of the pause will change the meaning of a word.  It reminds me of SNL’s Nuni and Noonie sketches.

James also discovered this during his class.  During an interview your neighbor and share exercise, James told the group that his partner has 36 anni (years).  The teacher immediately stopped him to explain anni.  I’m having trouble picturing how this was done in Italian, but she said “it’s not good” and there was some hand gesturing.  Turns out, anni is the plural of anus.  If you want years, you really need to say ahn-nee.

I cracked up pretty hard.  And then I thought, “Holy tootknockers, do you know the number of people that I’ve told that my son has two anuses???”


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